June 1, 2022

Please pardon my language, but what fresh hell is this madness?!   I am 51 and have the “joy” of going through a complicated benzo withdrawal during perimenopause.  I don’t want to write a negative post, just a realistic one.  One that other folks who are enjoying these two great tastes that taste great together can hopefully read, maybe laugh a bit at the absurdity of it all and know you are not alone.

I have done a lot of research on the role of hormones in benzo withdrawal and so it doesn’t come as a surprise to me on an intellectual level that we would be experiencing a surge in our symptoms.  That said, on a physical and emotional level, I don’t think I will ever get used to just how quickly I can be thrown into what feels like “acute” withdrawal at certain times of the month.  I know people that are not in perimenopause go through this as well around ovulation, PMS, or during their cycle.  The issue that I seem to grapple with the most is that with my cycle no longer being predictable, I never really know when the more acute symptoms are going to hit.

So, on days like today where I feel as though I am being lit on fire from the inside and mentally I plummet, I try to just hang on and remember that this too shall pass.  I have survived every other day in benzo withdrawal up to this day, I can survive this one as well.

I try to hang onto that image of my body as a soup and all of these ingredients – GABA, glutamate, serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, glycine, acetylcholine, histamine, and so many others all have the goal and desire to work together as a team to offer us a homeostatic experience.  When one is out of whack, the whole system can be affected.  We have already disrupted the ecology of our being by adding in and then taking out a benzodiazepine.  Now, in perimenopause, our ecology is shifting in a major way yet again.  So when the burning comes, the mood swings, the darkness, the agitation, rage, sadness, and the feeling that I am birthing the Incredible Hulk through my chest, I just try to thank my body for doing its very best on my behalf.

Healing hurts.  Hang on and keep swimming!